1 min

Iranian in Greece facing deportation & death

Man was jailed after police learned he is gay

The Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO) is calling on Greek immigration authorities and the European Parliament to stop the deportation of a 40-year-old gay man from Greece because they say he risks death if he is returned to his native Iran.

IRQO spokesperson Arsham Parsi would only identify the man as Alex.

According to a press release from the Greek Homosexual Community (GHC) Alex was jailed in Iran after an acquaintance told police he is gay.

“He was beaten systematically with lashing straps in his back and kidneys and afterward was put in water in order to not develop ecchymosis and edema,” reads the GHC press release. “He was beaten several times in the face, losing three teeth as a result. He had his testicles twisted, was submitted to bastinado [caning of the feet] and had salt poured on his open wounds. He was put twice in mock execution.”

GHC alleges that Alex managed to escape to Greece after his family paid police to allow him to attend his mother’s funeral.

In 2003 Alex asked for asylum saying he is gay and in a relationship with a Greek man identified only as Phoebos.

In 2005 Iranian authorities executed two youths. Initially Iranian state media reported the boys were guilty of gay sex but after worldwide outrage the same state media outlet reported that the boys were found guilty of robbery and rape. Over the summer the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) condemned Iran for executing people found guilty of sodomy. On Sep 24 Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told an audience at Columbia University in New York that there were no homosexuals in Iran.